Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Tech I use: Dell Vostro 14 5000 (5468) business notebook review

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Dell launched its series of four business laptops end last year and the Vostro 14 5000 notebook has been my computer of choice for the last few months. Here’s why. (Prices start from S$1,164.)

The Dell Vostro 14 5000 is an affordable notebook that packs good performance to keep you productive, with excellent connectivity, long battery life and light weight that won’t break your back.

The Dell Vostro 14 5000 is an affordable notebook that packs good performance to keep you productive, with excellent connectivity, long battery life and light weight that won’t break your back.

First off, I use the notebook in the course of work – churning out word documents, browsing the web for research, reading PDF and web articles, viewing videos and presentation slides, as well as browsing and simple editing of work and personal photos, with the occasional video production.

So I’m looking for a no-frills machine that just works – it doesn’t have to look good or offer any gimmicks – just something portable with the essential connectivity to let me set up anywhere quickly.

The Vostro 14 5000 is just that.

I needed a working laptop for IFA GPC 2017 in Portugal over the weekend & this Vostro 14 5000 (5468) is just right for the job

It’s targeted at small-business owners and professionals like myself and I’ve been most satisfied with the notebook from day 1.

The Vostro 14 5000 is powered by an Intel Core i7-7500 CPU at 2.90GHz, with 8GB RAM – this is more than adequate for all the work tasks that I use the notebook for, and even with multiple applications and browser tabs on, the machine doesn’t turn sluggish.

On the left side of the Dell Vostro 14 5000 (5468) business notebook is a DC power input port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, a HDMI port, 2x USB 3.0 ports (1 more on the other side), and a headphone port. A very well connected laptop.

In terms of connectivity, the 14 5000 comes with three USB 3.0 ports, an RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a VGA port and an SD card slot.

There’s also a DC power input port, a headphone port and a Kensington lock slot.

USB connectivity is something I value in my business laptop. With three on the Vostro, I can connect an extension desktop harddisk, a USB thumbdrive and a mouse – simultaneously.

Many notebooks are stingy with USB ports, in the quest for slimness and portability – the worst are those that ships with a mini-USB port that requires and extra adaptor to plug inregular-sized USB connectors.

The same goes for the regular-sized HDMI port.

I connect a second larger monitor when I work at home and cables with the regular-sized HDMI connectors are much more ubiquitous than those with mini-HDMI connectors.

It’s also important for me that the Vostro has a traditional VGA port – most projectors out there still require a VGA port so it’s real convenient and important for the notebook to have VGA connectivity.

The keyboard of the Dell Vostro 14 5000 (5468) business notebook is a pleasure to use, with its large, well-space keys, with a good amount of travel. The trackpad is also responsive when a mouse is not connected.

The keyboard has large keys with good spacing in between, and a good amount of travel.

The trackpad is responsive and usable when I don’t have a mouse connected.

The 14 5000 comes with a 14-inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution.

This is not top of the line in terms of resolution, but it is more than enough for my work.

On the move, the display is big enough for me to tile two windows side by side.

At home, I connect a second monitor to extend the screen real-estate.

The 1 TB of 5400 RPM SATA hard drive is more than enough for me – I haven’t even gone near running out of space yet.

For photo and video editing, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 is complemented by an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU and is definitely good enough to drive the display.

Despite the powerful performance, the Vostro weighs only 1.59kg – light enough for me to carry around between meetings and event venues without giving me a backache.

Battery wise, it’s one of the more long-lasting laptops I’ve used, with an advertised life of 10 hours.

I tend to hit 8-9 hours before having to look for an outlet.

New arrival: BenQ projectors & interactive flat panel

Friday, July 14th, 2017

BenQ launched in Singapore the X12000 (S$9,299) home cinema projector, the LU9715 & LU9235 laser projectors and the RP750K (S$9,999) 75-inch interactive flat panel display.

BenQ X12000 DLP 4K UHD LED Home Cinema Projector (S$9,299).

BenQ boasts that the X1200 (S$9,299) is the world’s first DLP 4K UHD LED Home Cinema Projector.

It combines exclusive CinematicColor™ technology and Philips ColorSpark™ HLD LED technology for cinema quality color in 8.3 million pixels.

BenQ LU9715 & LU9235 colour-accurate digital laser projectors.


New arrival: Canon EOS 200D entry-level DSLR

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The EOS 200D is an entry-level DSLR targeted at the fashion conscious photographer. Price & availability TBA.

The EOS 200D features Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and the latest DIGIC 7 image processor.

More details from the press release below.


New arrival: Plantronics BackBeat 505 Bluetooth headphones

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

The wireless Bluetooth headphones lasts up to 18 hours to make phone calls, listen to music, play games. Available now in Singapore (S$139).

Plantronics BackBeat 505 will be available in Dark Grey, Grey, and White.

The new BackBeat 505 headphones from Plantronics can stream music up to 10m, pair up to 8 Bluetooth devices and connect to 2 devices simultaneously.

More details from the press release below.


Tech focus: CyArk & Seagate preserves world heritage sites

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

CyArk & Seagate are collaborating to preserve world heritage sites in the digital realm for the benefit of posterity.

I came across a meaningful project this week – an international non-profit organisation named CyArk is actively capturing digital images and physical dimensions of historical sites and structures to create photorealistic 3D models for archival.

Editor’s note:

I’m really happy that such meaningful work is being carried out by organisations such as CyArk, founded by Iraqi civil engineer Ben Kacyra.

It is a great example of how technology is being harnessed in a positive way for the benefit of humanity.

It’s also fantastic that CyArk enjoys recognition and support from the public and large corporations such as Seagate, Google and Autodesk.


This is so that future generations can reference these resources even if the actual archeological sites are damaged – through war, natural disasters, or age – or completely destroyed.

They have been at it since 2003 and are supported by corporations such as Seagate which began their partnership with CyArk in 2015 by providing its data storage solutions both in the field and in the office.

Since 2003, CyArk has amassed high-tech digital records of over 200 heritage sites in 40 countries, including Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

In recent years, CyArk has upped the ante by capturing additional photos that can be used to render interactive virtual reality (VR) content for users to enjoy an immersive experience when “visiting” these historical sites in the virtual realm.


New arrival: Canon EOS 6D Mark II full-frame DSLR

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Canon launches the lightest DSLR in its EOS full-frame DSLR line-up. Price & availability TBA.

Update (12 July, 2017):

Price & availability – The EOS 6D Mark II will be available at authorised Canon dealers on 27 July 2017 at the following recommended retail prices.

  • EOS 6D Mark II Body (Body only): S$2,899
  • EOS 6D Mark II (w/24-70 L IS): S$3,949
  • EOS 6D Mark II (w/24-105 L IS II): S$4,299

Customers who make a pre-order from 13 July 2017 to 26 July 2017 will be entitled to a free Canon professional camera backpack worth $289.

If you’re a photography buff looking for an entry-level full-frame DSLR to up your game, you would be excited by the new EOS 6D Mark II from Canon.

It is the lightest full-frame DSLR from the Japanese maker’s EOS line-up but packs a complete arsenal of functionalities.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II entry-level full-frame DSLR for enthusiasts.

Its 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor promises exceptionally clear images even under low light conditions; and it is capable of achieving an impressive background blur effect – a key characteristic the larger sensors in full-frame cameras.


New arrival: Microsoft Xbox One X gaming console at E3

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

The Xbox One X is the most powerful and smallest Xbox console that Microsoft has ever built. It puts the greatest graphic fidelity in the hands of game creators to create true 4K games. Available in Singapore in 2017 (S$699).

Microsoft promises that every game will play great across the Xbox One family, with Xbox One X enhancing your existing library with better textures, smoother framerates and faster load times, even on a 1080p TV.

The Xbox One games and accessories you already own are compatible with Xbox One X, so if you’re an Xbox gamer, chances are you already have a library of games that will look and play better on Xbox One X.

Formerly code-named “Project Scorpio”, Xbox One X will join the Xbox One family of devices and coexist alongside Xbox One and Xbox One S.

Microsoft boasts that the Xbox One X has 40 percent more power than any other console, and users can experience immersive true 4K gaming when paired with a 4K display.


New arrival: 7 X-mini portable Bluetooth wireless speakers from Xmi

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Singapore speaker maker Xmi redesigns iconic capsule speaker and expands X-mini range of products across bigger sizes and price ranges. Available end June. Prices below.

Xmi launched the 7 new X-mini wireless Bluetooth speakers at the Tippling Club in Singapore.

Xmi launched seven new speakers in Singapore today.

  • X-mini CLICK 2: S$39.90
  • X-mini XOUNDBAR: S$49.90
  • X-mini KAI X1: S$69.90
  • X-mini KAI X2: S$99.90
  • X-mini KAI X3: S$129.90
  • X-mini SUPA: S$209.90
  • X-mini INFINITI: S$569.90

Purchases can be made directly from or any X-mini or authorised resellers, Best Denki, Courts, Challenger, Gain City, Harvey Norman and Popular from end June 2017.

More details from the press release below.


New arrival: Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 instant camera

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Fujifilm launches its first hybrid instant camera in its new square format printout. Available worldwide 19 May 2017: S$499.

The SQ10 is the first hybrid camera in Fujifilm’s Instax range of instant cameras that is equipped with a digital image sensor.

Photos taken can be stored in an external microSD card (sold separately) for immediate or future printing on the camera itself on the go.

The photos taken can be digitally edited on the camera for brightness and contrast, with the addition of 10 Instagram-like filters and a vignette effect before printing. The SQ10 sports a 3-inch TFT colour LCD monitor with approximately 460k dots.

The SQ10 has 3.5 megapixels (1920 x 1920) and has a fixed aperture (F2.4) and focal length 28.5mm (35mm format equivalent).

The photos can be transferred via the microSD card – each gigabyte of memory stores up to 1000 photos.


IFA GPC 2017 – Global Press Conference for IFA 2017

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

The actual press conference for IFA 2017 in Berlin (1-6 September) will be held at 11am today in Lisbon, Portugal. Stay tuned for the excerpt and press release.

A post shared by John Tan (@tech4tea) on

Stay tuned for the outcome of the global press conference for IFA 2017 in this slot. I will update this posting once it’s out.

So IFA 2017 will see the emphasis put on Brands and focus placed on Innovation.

Dr. Christian Goke, CEO Messe Berlin leading the discussion panel during the Global Press Conference.

The press release will be appended below once I receive it.